Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beat a Bloated Tummy to Look Flat Again!

In addition to the dreaded stomach bulge, this familiar ailment results in terrible discomfort. Bloating symptoms come from excess gas accumulating in the abdomen, particularly in the intestines. Intestinal bacteria produce gas when foods have not yet travelled through the small intestine. If gas particles are not released right away, the stomach expands like a balloon. Although overeating is the most known cause for bloating, some people battle the bloat daily - even if they have not polished off an oversized meal.

Common Bloating Culprits
  • Salt causes the body to retain fluid - a common cause of bloating.
  • Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes and pasta can cause water retention.
  • Dairy can be hard on your digestive tract as it contains lactose, a difficult-to-digest sugar.
  • Carbonated drinks, like soda, cause air bubbles to form and expand in your abdomen.

Bloating Cures
  • Water: When your stomach feels like it is about to pop, downing water may be the best quick fix.
  • Dandelion tea is a mild diuretic that will also help get rid of the water your body is holding onto.
  • Magnesium: Try taking 200 milligrams of magnesium daily to fight fluid retention and to expel gas. This crucial mineral eases constipation by relaxing the muscles in the intestinal walls.
  • Potassium ensures that all cells, tissues and organs are operating properly. Try eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, kiwifruit and strawberries.
  • Fibre-rich foods can push stomach-clogging materials out of the body such foods like oatmeal, bran flakes, raspberries, lentils, and artichokes into your meals.
  • Probiotics are made up of good living bacteria similar to those that naturally exist in the body and aid with digestive health. Through nutritional supplements or probiotic-enriched food sources like yogurt and soy drinks, probiotics can be integrated into your diet. 
  • Physical activity can also give your digestive system a boost such as a 15-20 minute stroll around the neighbourhood after dinner can help with digestion.
  • Massage is a helpful way to keep bloating at bay. Massaging the abdominal area helps relax the muscles that support the bladder and intestine. Press your fingers near your right hip.  Start massaging in small circles. Move hands from right to left making an arc under your breastbone. Massaging stimulates bowel activity to help push out excess stool and reduce bloating.
See your doctor if you find that bloating is interfering with your daily activities and/or if you notice that your abdomen is looking persistently and unusually inflated and/or you are experiencing intense pain.

Wishing you an AWESOME day!

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